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Title: Developing woody crops for the enhancement of ecosystem services under changing climates in the north central United States

Author: Zalesny, Ronald S. Jr.; Headlee, William L.;

Date: 2015

Source: Journal of Forest and Environmental Science. 31(2): 78-90.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Short rotation woody crops belonging to the genera Populus L., Salix L., Pinus L., and Eucalyptus LHer. have provided broad economic and ecological benefits throughout the world, including afforestation and reforestation along urban to rural gradients. Within the genus Populus, cottonwoods, poplars, aspens, and their hybrids (hereafter referred to as poplars) have been shown to exhibit favorable genotype × environment interactions, especially in the face of changing climates. Similar growth responses have been reported for Pinus, especially with white pine (Pinus strobus L.) in the North Central United States. This has led to current research priorities focused on ecosystem services for both genera. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) defines cultural, supporting, provisioning, and regulating ecosystem services. The overarching objective of this paper was to synthesize information about the potential of poplars to provide multiple ecosystem services when grown at sites with varying soil and climate conditions across landscape gradients from urban to rural areas. Specific objectives included: 1) providing background of the United States Forest Service and its Research and Development branch, 2) integrating knowledge of current poplar breeding and development with biomass provisioning and carbon regulating ecosystem services as they relate to changing climates in the North Central United States, and 3) providing a case study illustrating this integration through comparisons of poplar with white pine. Our results were evaluated in the context of climate change mitigation, with specific focus on selection of favorable genotypes for sequestering atmospheric carbon and reducing fossil fuel carbon emissions.

Keywords: Biomass, Carbon Sequestration, Pinus strobus L., Poplar, Populus, White pine

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Zalesny, Ronald S., Jr.; Headlee, William L. 2015. Developing woody crops for the enhancement of ecosystem services under changing climates in the north central United States. Journal of Forest and Environmental Science. 31(2): 78-90.


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